Daughter of the Reich: A Novel (Paperback)
“A beautifully written and emotional wrenching journey into World War II tumult and tragedy…its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate.” —Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Secret
For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction…
As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.
Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.
Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?
Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.
About the Author
Louise was born and brought up near London. After a law degree at Southampton University, she worked in Hong Kong and Australia, and enjoyed travelling the world before returning to London to settle down to a career in law and banking. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing from St Mary’s University, London. Louise lives in the beautiful Surrey countryside with her husband, three children and small dog.
“Louise Fein's Daughter of the Reich is so real--a beautifully written and emotional wrenching journey into World War II tumult and tragedy. Amazingly, this novel is both sweeping and intimate. Although the book brings history to life, its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate.”
— Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Secret
“I adored this book because not only is it beautifully written, it also tells a familiar story from a very unfamiliar perspective: that of a naïve German teenager caught up in the rise of Nazism ,and her gradual realization of the inhumanity driven by Aryan fanaticism. Louise Fein’s characters help us understand how so many people were taken in by Nazi propaganda, and the terrible, heartbreaking dilemmas they faced trying to protect the people they loved. This is historical fiction at its absolute best.”
— Liz Trenow, New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Seamstress
"Beautiful and absorbing — a vital story of kindness, and a reminder that humanity can flourish in the darkest of times. The ending, in particular, was breathtaking and wonderful."
— Caroline Hulse, author of The Adults
“Heartbreaking and thought-provoking story about forbidden love during Nazi Germany. Had me gripped to the very end.”
— Luke Allnutt, author of We Own the Sky
"Daughter of the Reich is an incredibly moving, utterly captivating, beautiful story of love, courage, and the strength of the human spirit. It was both heartbreaking and hopeful at once. The ending had me in tears.”
— Rhiannon Navin, author of Only Child
“Daughter of the Reich is a wonderful book. The Romeo and Juliet story of a young couple in Leipzig, Germany, in the years before the second world war is poignant and heartbreaking enough, but when you factor in the chilling message that anyone is capable of possessing the most appalling attitudes towards their fellow humans, and worse, then this becomes a book for our time. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
— Gill Thompson, author of The Oceans Between Us
"I couldn’t believe it when I read that this is a debut, because it’s so skillfully written. We feel Hetty’s character development through the pages; the scene-setting and historical background are unobtrusive but utterly convincing. This is an important subject to write about and I learned a lot, but above all it is a powerful, unforgettable love story."
— Gill Paul, bestselling author of The Secret Wife
“[Daughter of the Reich] is a fascinating immersive book … part romance, part character study, part call to arms. The subject matter - racial hate - is sensitive but we are in safe hands with Fein who writes with great passion and urgency…. This is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how normal people/people like us get caught up in fascism and how it feels when friends and neighbors become enemies.”
— Lizzie Page, author of The Forgotten Girls
“Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Hetty and Walter’s love story takes us deep into the heart of a nation on the brink of darkness. A terrifying real, utterly compelling and thought-provoking read.”
— Nikola Scott, author of Summer of Secrets
“Louise Fein’s Daughter of the Reich spins childhood innocence shattered, the tendency for society to carry us along in wrong directions, and the importance of standing up against tyranny in ways small and large into an absorbing, heart-wrenching story of love and letting go—and a lesson for us all."
— Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to London
"This compelling and deeply-moving story follows the inexorable rise of Hitler’s Nazi party and Germany’s descent into darkness in the years leading up to the outbreak of World War 2. Through Hetty’s eyes, the reader experiences the grim march of extreme nationalism and the anguish of lives brutally torn apart. And yet Daughter of the Reich is also a reminder that--even in the darkest times—the extraordinary power of love can light the way.”
— Fiona Valpy, bestselling author of The Dressmaker’s Gift
“An addictive, heart-filled, crucial read for our times—reminding us why it’s so imperative never to forget history and providing a cautionary tale about what will happen if we do.”
— Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us
“An outstanding and heart-breaking story of Nazism seen from the "other side": blind indoctrination is transformed into true heroism by the power of love.”
— Sharon Maas, author of The Violin Maker's Daughter
"Fein shows the slow twisting of the people in Hetty’s city, suggesting parallels in the United States today, which book discussion groups can parse out into fuller understanding."
— Library Journal
“By far, Daughter of The Reich is one of the most unique World War II stories that I have read, and in full honesty, I couldn’t help but love the story… a beautifully written story, filled with some hard to swallow pills, but nonetheless, it is a beautiful story—a story in which you wouldn’t want to put down until the end.”
— The Manhattan Book Review
“Revelatory and harrowing with touches of grace…the characterizations are well done, with the lovers and Hetty’s relationship with her beloved brother particularly well rendered. An extraordinary debut novel. Bravo!”
— Historical Novel Society